Online Degrees in Health Services Administration: Overviews by Level

Dec 04, 2019

Essential Information

Online bachelor's degree programs in health services administration are available; these programs may require an associate's degree or prerequisite coursework for admission. Online master's degree programs are also available, and these require applicants to already hold a bachelor's degree. Students can choose from fully online or hybrid program options for these degrees, although in-person internships at healthcare clinics may be a component of bachelor's level programs in health services administration.

A bachelor's degree is typically the minimum educational level required to work as a health services manager, but requirements vary by employer and employment setting, and master's degrees are quite common in this field.

Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Administration

A 4-year online bachelor's degree program for prospective health services managers can focus on health systems, medical office operations and healthcare ethics, resulting in a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Applied Science. Some schools offer a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Health Services or Healthcare Administration. Most schools require applicants to hold an associate's degree or to have taken previous coursework in accounting, economics and business applications.

Information and Requirements

Distance education bachelor's degree programs in health services administration can be taken entirely online or are a hybrid, with some classes offered on campus. Some programs include an internship or seminars requiring on-campus or off-site attendance as well.

Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Administration Courses

Online coursework generally includes introductory and advanced courses in health systems management and operations, healthcare finance, laws and ethics. Other topics may include medical terminology, managed care and epidemiology. An internship might also be required.

Health Systems Administration

This course provides fundamental or introductory information about current U.S. healthcare systems while focusing on management methods related to medical offices. A history of health systems might also be discussed.

Healthcare Finance

This course provides a basic overview of healthcare financial management. Accounting methods, budgeting, costs and reimbursement practices are usually discussed.

Healthcare Ethics

Students gain insight into proper health office professionalism. Patient confidentiality, patient consent and decision-making are among the topics addressed.

Master's Degree in Health Services Administration

An online master's degree program in health services administration emphasizes theories and research in healthcare management, organization and administration. Graduation results in a Master of Health Administration or Master of Science. A bachelor's degree is typically required for entrance. Some colleges might also require 2-3 years of work experience in the health field.

Information and Requirements

Most online master's degree programs in health services administration take about three years to complete and are conducted fully online. Some schools offer a fast track option allowing for completion of the program in less time. A clinical research project or paper might also be required.

Master's Degree in Health Services Administration Courses

The curriculum of an online master's degree program in health services administration includes advanced courses in healthcare management, health systems, managed care, health policies and research. Classes can also be taken in healthcare marketing, human resources management and accounting. Some programs offer seminars in advanced topics.

Healthcare Administration

Leadership methods in healthcare are typically addressed. Students learn to develop business plans for different types of healthcare facilities and study theories in health services administration.

Healthcare Systems

This course addresses health systems theories and organizational development. Students have the opportunity to study the history of U.S. healthcare delivery systems, current public health policies and the roles of government, hospitals, healthcare personnel and policymakers.

Managed Care

The various types of managed care plans are discussed, such as Medicaid and Medicare. The history of managed care plans, benefits, limitations and reimbursement practices are among topics likely to be discussed.

Graduate Career Information

Online graduates are prepared for entry-level positions at hospitals, clinics or insurance companies. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, job growth for medical and health services managers is expected to be 18%, faster than the average for all occupations, between 2018 and 2028. As of May 2018, the median yearly salary was $99,730.

Obtaining a graduate degree in health services administration online can lead to upper-management or executive positions in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2018, chief executives earned a median annual salary of $189,600.

Continuing Education Information

While many graduates consider a master's degree in health services administration a terminal degree, some choose to pursue a doctorate. Online Doctor of Health Administration programs, however, are uncommon.

Voluntary certification is available in this field. The American Health Information Management Association offers certification as a Registered Health Information Administrator. Continuing education requirements may be necessary to maintain this certification.

Health services management programs are available online as bachelor's or master's degree programs for students desiring to work as managers or executives in the field. Graduates will have a well-rounded background in healthcare administration, ethics and finance.

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